The First Step In Starting Your Internet Buisness Is Setting Up Your Own Blog!
How to make money on the internet
The net can be a great way to top up your income. Barry Collins reveals how to make money safely and legally.
With milk and petrol seemingly costing more per litre than champagne, few people can afford to turn away easy money. The good news is that there are plenty of undemanding ways to supplement your salary online.
From filling out short surveys to being a virtual PA or writing brief articles for online encyclopedias, you could soon be bringing in hundreds of pounds per month. However, before you book that Seychelles trip or a Mercedes-Benz SLK test drive remember to put some of your new-found riches aside for when the taxman cometh.
CASH FOR QUESTIONS
Sign up with a reputable market research company and you will be rewarded for completing short web-based surveys. Most take five minutes, so you could pack a few into your lunch break.
Some of these companies “pay” you with free entry to a legitimate prize draw. which is run by GfK, the analyst – entice you with vouchers redeemable against a range of items.
Best of all are firms that cough up hard cash. YouGov, the pollster, pays 50p-£1 for every survey. Once you accumulate £50 of credit, YouGov sends you a cheque.
Ciao!, the shopping advice portal, pays £1-£5 for each questionnaire and payments are made by bank transfer after £5 has been earned. If you are a Ciao! member, you can write reviews of products or services you have bought. You will receive payments (of up to 2p) every time a fellow member rates one of your reviews as useful. It won’t generate a salary to match AA Gill’s, but every little helps.
The web is festooned with sites that promise the moon on a stick if you complete surveys or browse a website. Many are legitimate but some are not. The Market Research Society – the trade body for UK market research companies – enables you to check whether a firm conforms to its code of practice at www.rbg.org.uk. If you don’t want to restrict yourself to UK firms, the pan-European equivalent is Esomar (directory.esomar.org). To check a US-based market researcher visit www.casro.org.
One of the easiest ways to earn from the internet is to reclaim money that’s yours. Close to £1 billion is in dormant bank, building society or National Savings accounts that people have forgotten about or omitted from a will, according to the new MyLostAccount service ( www.mylostaccount.org.uk).
This site aims to reunite these accounts with their owners. Fill out the online form and the 100-plus banks and building societies in the scheme will search their records for accounts in your or a relative’s name.
And what about those premium bonds that were bought for your eighth birthday that you recently found in a drawer? Head to www.nsandi.com to find out whether Ernie has made you a secret millionaire.
Determined to reclaim excessive bank or credit-card charges? The crusading MoneySavingExpert.com has a regularly updated guide. The site provides a sample letter to send to your bank and (in a delightful piece of schadenfreude) an interest calculator.
One of the biggest financial ruses is banks overcharging for mortgage protection insurance. Due to a recent Competition Commission ruling, consumers can claw back chunks of cash, plus interest – up to £24,000 says a recent Times Online feature.
If you are fed up with delays on your daily rail commute but can’t be bothered with the tedious compensation forms, TrainDelays will do it for you. Register details of your journey and season ticket and it will automatically apply for compensation whenever a delay occurs on your line. This enables you potentially to claim back rail vouchers worth hundreds of pounds a year.
Fancy a little extra income in the evenings or while the children are at school? The smartly designed Elance enables you to pitch your skills for various freelance gigs. These range from producing architectural drawings to being a virtual PA. Workers and employers are both rated on the site. Some Elancers have earned hundreds of thousands of pounds.
For something less formal, Amazon’s Mechanical Turk will pay all-comers to take on tasks that computers can’t handle. These include writing descriptions of videos or pointing out potholes in sat nav photos. Rates of pay can hover from modest to derisory, so pick projects carefully. Your expertise may be better rewarded by About.com, which pays people hundreds of pounds a month to become “guides” on their specialist subjects. The site is seeking experts on topics as diverse as Moroccan food and houseplants, but contributors must post regular articles.
Part-time expert geeks or moonlighting mechanics who want to let prospective customers check availability or reserve appointments online should flit over. The setup is a little baffling, but there’s a tutorial video and a 30-day free trial.
MAKE YOUR PASSION PAY
If you run an amateur website (or blog) on, say, local town history or beauty treatments why not turn this passion into cash? If you have always hankered to write about a specific subject, you can set up a swish-looking blog in minutes at Typepad from £2.50 a month. WordPress ( wordpress.com), its rival, is slightly more complex but free.
You can earn from your readers by placing adverts on the site or signing up for “affiliate” deals where you receive a commission from, say, Amazon if people buy anything via your recommendations on Your Blog.
If you blog about products readers may want to buy, Pricerunner, the price comparison engine, can show the cost of these items on your site. If a visitor clicks through to a Pricerunner advertiser, it will pay you 10p-33p a pop. An alternative here is Kelkoo’s TradeDoubler.
If you write about a sport you can have a flutter on, send your readers to Betfair and it will pony up at least 25% of the value of any bets placed.
Unsure what ads to display? Join Google’s AdSense and it will search your webpages and show relevant test-based ads alongside, say, your paean to vintage toasters. If the readers click, you get paid.
If you can swallow your pride, Blogsvertise will slip you up to £12 for each favourable 100-word mention of one of its clients. Tempted?
SET UP SHOP
Many hobbies such as jewellery-making or photography can become a lucrative sideline. The obvious destination for sales is eBay but serious sellers should separate themselves from the throng by creating an eBay shop using the free tools at tinyurl.com/5snaxz.
Setting up your own online store is easier than you think and often looks more professional than selling via existing web stores such as eBay. The Mr Site Takeaway Website provides everything you need – a .com web address, simple design software and a secure payments service – in one box. It costs £35 for 12 months, then £2.90 a month. The Pro version has a bigger upfront cost (£100) but adds features such as boosting your site’s visibility on search engines.
Many website hosting services such as 1&1 provide free tools for quickly designing a classy web store – and then you can even link it to eBay.
Article By James F Thompson (Times Online)
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