It’s no secret that there is an abundance of opportunities to make money online. The prospect for many seems like the ideal situation. Working at home is a goal sought after by many people, whether you are a stay at home mom, physically disabled, or are just interested in having a more self-controlled work environment. There is a multitude of reasons why working remotely is ideal:
- No more early morning commutes against your will, especially if you live in a harsh climate environment or congested traffic area.
- No more having to eat cold lunches or skip lunches, punching in and out of a clock on someone else’s time both physically and mentally.
- The list goes on.
The main thing holding many would be remote warriors from working from home is not willpower, but the inability to research. For such a new type of job, many surprisingly attempt to employ standard methods of finding jobs, checking common traditional source such as craigslist or other ads.
The ads, some appearing authentic and straightforward while others use colorful ambiguous language to lure in unsuspecting job seekers are just one in a long list of scams that are found online.
In this article, I will be going further in depth about what kind of scams can be found online and how you can source legitimate opportunities to make your dreams come true, or at least prevent your nightmares.
99% of people online have unwittingly given away information about themselves that they shouldn’t have. On top of that, many have their email addresses, basic info about them, and more in the hands of someone that is interested in only selling to them.
While this is a necessary evil that comes with having access to unlimited information at your fingertips via the web, it’s one that doesn’t have to cause as much damage as you’d expect. Before we dig into what not to do, and how the most common job seeker scam works, let’s cover some basic statistics:
- Every year, people all over the world lose billions (almost $100bn), to some of the oldest tricks in internet history the Nigerian prince or relative’s death inheritance scam.
- Almost 30% of people who were scammed were tricked via websites.
- As many as between three to five million people are scammed a year.
This means, no matter how smart you are, chances are, you will get got by someone at some point.
The hard truth about most jobs online posting ads and mystery shopping online is that they are at worst scams, and at best not worth the effort. Many of these jobs require a lot of research, effort, testing, and hours just to see remedial returns.
How most mystery shopping and online posting ads jobs work, is by one of three ways:
- Someone “hires” job seekers by conducting an interview via telephone or via email and sends them info that requires them to use their credit card for a background check or other dubious site claim. At worst, they require an “investment” which means it’s a requirement to have to pay for the opportunity to get involved or to try various shady products.
- A mystery entity once again gets the user to pay money upfront while merely selling their information online to other buyers.
- A “legitimate opportunity” requires rewriting and posting, dozens of ads a day for as little as $3-4 an hour of work, that is usually paid out whenever a very high threshold is reached, typically 100+ dollars.
None sound ideal, and more often than not, all three are combined. The result is either catastrophe or frustration.
As mentioned before, just because bad opportunities are abundant doesn’t mean there aren’t also quite a few positive ones. Many people find a range of opportunities online for making money. The real difference is in how you go about it.
Currently, between everything from new marketplace websites to new job sites popping up every day, there are chances everywhere to find precisely the type of job you are looking for. However, there are multiple ways to look at your situation.
You can work for someone else full time; there are jobs available on sites such as weworkremotely.com and more that have fulltime jobs for tech and skilled workers that want to work remotely just as their name says. The problem is that many of those jobs require more than the average position do.
For those looking for something simple with basic internet and computer skills, there are freelance sites from Upwork.com to Fiverr that have an array of open positions. The question, is what schedule do you want to work on and how much do you want to make?
Some online jobs require just as much effort as in person positions, and some select ones need even more time. Coupled with the starting out lower pay, it may not be ideal on its own if you haphazardly rush into the first position you see.
The main three options that many have online is to be a buyer, a seller, or a worker.
The seller is the business owner or the service provider that either peddles a product or provides some specialized skill or expertise in exchange for money or a commodity.
The buyer is what most people are online, the ones that keep the online economy rolling along smoothly by contributing to legitimate or illegitimate businesses.
The worker is the middleman between the seller and the buyer; they are usually employees such as Virtual Assistants, Data Entry Workers, or other positions that are exactly what they sound like, workers.
Now, being a worker is great for if you are looking for part-time work or need a schedule that is relatively flexible. The added benefit is that if you get a virtual assistant job or data entry work, most of the time it is causal or at the least not very complicated. Also many offer educational opportunities in the form of learning on the job whether that is SEO, how to write, light programming, or how to run an e-commerce store.
There is a multitude of options that are available. The only problem is what would work for you in particular. It is as easy as starting off by isolating what you are good at and what you are bad at and what you want.
Ask Yourself These Questions:
- How much do I want to make a week to fulfill my needs?
- What skill sets do I have or experience that would be sellable or marketable?
- How much time do I have a week to dedicate?
- Am I a patient person?
The answer to each of these can lead you to very different situations. For someone that wants to make just a bit of extra money and don’t have any skillsets besides having time and being organized/efficient, being a virtual assistant is perfect.
For someone that has time but can write or at least knows about something people find a fascinating hobby, they could create their own web business selling information or being an affiliate.
There are a few things that play a role in helping decide what you should do. Take stock of what you are educated in, find interesting, and want to do. If you don’t want to take the standard route that is laid out for you, education will be your best tool for making more money online.
All too often, people rush into the first opportunity that they find and end up locked into it, all their time wrapped up into it with bills to pay.
Taking the time to carve out a plan for yourself with an ideal trajectory. More importantly, decide what you need to know or would want to learn to earn more. The more specialized skill you can learn, the more valuable you will be and the more easily you will find work.
For instance, Android developers even with fundamental skills as long as they are competent to have an easy time finding both normal work and remote work. There are a fair amount of courses and information online about how to get into coding and to work with the Android platform to develop applications.
If programming skills aren’t your strong point, a few ideas would be:
- Graphic Design
- Customer Support
- Blog Management
In the end, the most important thing you will need for making money online is a bit of healthy skepticism and a fair amount of patience. The better you are at taking the time to research and cross-check what sites you use, the less likely you are to be at the end of a scam, and more likely you are to be on the side that makes a living online.
By now, we have gone over only a few of the ways people make money online. While there are a massive amount of people who make full-time incomes online, there is also a significant amount that makes good money only working part-time. The reason is the increasing presence of the gig economy.
The gig economy is what freelancers are a part of. If you intend to be a freelancer,
Udemy, coursera, and other sites have plenty of classes for learning skills that will make you much more easily hireable, but also much more capable of perusing through the web to find your ideal job without as many problems.
If you want to be well prepared for most simple jobs online consider brushing up on the following:
- The Basics Of Using Microsoft Office
- HTML/Wordpress/CMS Platforms
- Corresponding Professionally
- How To Write A Piece Of Compelling Web Content
- The Basics Of Video Editing
- How To Conduct Basic Research
Knowing the basics of using Microsoft word goes without saying, but most don’t know how to use excel, outlook, or any of the more specialized tools that each piece of software offers. Many only know how to set up a heading and write simply.
HTML, WordPress, and other content management platforms are the most important ways that many business owners or managers influence how their website or web business works and looks. If you plan to do anything work-related online, know the basics or at least your way around some basic HTML and WordPress, because it will come in handy at some point.
Most people who apply for online jobs don’t have the slightest idea what good and lousy correspondence is. Take the time to not only communicate effectively through writing good content and crafting exciting videos but ensure that you get a chance to show your skills by knowing how to communicate professionally.
In the end, you will want to build a small portfolio to demonstrate what you are capable of.
- Be careful using any online marketplace or ad site to find jobs online because most are scams.
- Develop or utilize a skillset to find a money-making opportunity online that is suited to your schedule, experience, and interests.
- Take the time to continually educate yourself so that you will be able to elevate/change your field or job position if you’d like.
If you adhere to the starting points outlined in this article, you will be leagues ahead of your competition. Many allow their greed or curiosity to get the best of them, which is what scammers take advantage of.
The saying “all that glitters is not gold” is just as true in the internet age as it was before. The only way to avoid being a victim is to take advantage of the resources at your disposal.
Do you have experience working online? Have you ever been scammed? Questions? Comments, leave them below.